Those who know me know that I love the rock group Queen. This song, “Who wants to live forever,” has been playing in my head for the past several days. I guess it is safe to say that almost everyone would declare a resounding “Yes!” to the question the songs asks. Lately as I have been rehearsing my music I have been running this very question through my head. These composers have created music that has lived on and has kept their memories alive and well. You cannot sing Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” and not be moved to tears. The same applies to Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata.

Playing their music is a very intimate procedure. You experience what the composer is trying to communicate through his music. You, at this point, become a vessel. I’m almost certain that none of these composers actually gave this idea a thought, but playing their music keeps their memories alive. Everyone recognizes Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Handel.

That’s why it is so important to teach the students the classics, but also to provide the opportunity to inspire them to improvise and compose their own music. Teaching a student how to express themselves through music is an astonishing experience. You as the instructor and mentor, give them the tools that they need and then let them loose to explore. What they create is really quite remarkable.

Who knows, by allowing your children to take music lessons they might grow to be the next Satie or the next Ricky Ian Gordon. Let your children learn the beauty and mystery of an instrument and let them spread their wings and fly – who knows… they just might.